Arts Whistler Launches Creative Catalyst

Arts Whistler Launches Creative Catalyst


Leveraging the talents of creative professionals to advance local musicians.



Five local musical acts have been selected to participate in Creative Catalyst, a skills development program featuring the expert advice of creative professionals from Sea to Sky and beyond. 

Participants were chosen from 17 bands who took part in Arts Whistler’s Hear and Now ONLINE music series. Hear and Now MC’s took in each show and then selected the five acts who could most benefit from the Creative Catalyst program. Criteria included that band members must live in the Sea to Sky and the band/act must have a strong commitment to expanding their musical career beyond the Sea to Sky Corridor.

The five acts chosen are: 

  • Little Earthquakes – Helen Hamilton and Charlie Stenner have been creating beautiful, harmony-infused melodies since late 2019, fuelled by their mutual love for low-fi, alt-pop sounds.
  • Lozen – A multi-talented singer-songwriter and bandleader whose mixed bag of genre-bending offerings have been entertaining crowds for years.
  • Cat Madden – Cat creates an eclectic mix of classic styles and carries that old soul vibe with a modern twist. A powerhouse voice that never fails to amaze!
  • Ev Kinsella – Singer-songwriter finding influences from multiple genres to offer up his soul-drenched, roots vibe.
  • Introduce Wolves – Heavy guitar, bass and drums, lots of fuzz, and melodic vocals come together in their alternative rock style 

The professional development program, affectionately called “Band Bootcamp”, is designed to help local musicians elevate their music, performance, promotional and business skills over three phases of the project:

Phase 1 – Professional Development for Musicians

Musicians will be immersed in an intensive professional development workshop series delivered by experienced creative professionals. Knowledge and guidance will be provided in the areas of industry professionalism, technical knowledge, styling, stage presence, and marketing and public relations. Creative Catalyst features an exciting line-up of creative experts, highlighted by the confirmation of Canadian alt-rock stars Dear Rouge (Danielle McTaggart and Drew McTaggart) as songwriting and performance coaches.

Creative professionals confirmed for the program include:

  • Jess Robson (Squamish) – promotional writing 
  • Ira Pettle (Whistler) – performance and improv skills
  • Scott McPhee (Whistler) – Technical knowledge and stage readiness
  • Kristen Robinson (Whistler) – Performer professionalism and producer expectations
  • Joanne Setterington (Toronto) – Music publicity and promotional techniques
  • Michelle Leroux (Pemberton) – Social media and marketing
  • Danielle McTaggart (Toronto) – songwriting, music production
  • Drew McTaggart (Toronto) – performance skills, audience engagement
  • Sandee Bathgate (Whistler) – ‘”The business of the music business”

Phase 2 – Media Kit Creation

In the second phase, each band will have a consultation with professional stylist and Whistler local Jessie McNaught, to guide them in maximizing the band’s vibe and visual aesthetic. Their new-found style will then be put to the test in a photoshoot with legendary local photographer, Logan Swayze. Phase two will result in a professional promotional package that the musicians can use to increase their outreach and marketing.

Phase 3 – Live Showcases: ‘The Next Level’

Creative Catalyst culminates in a live showcase for each band at the Maury Young Arts Centre theatre where each musician can apply all they have learned through the process. If public health orders allow, the showcases will present in-theatre performances to limited-seating live audiences and will simulcast live-stream the shows to audiences through online platforms. 

Showcase dates:
May 15 | May 28 | May 29 | June 4 | June 5

Stay tuned for more details on the live showcases and **fingers crossed** an opportunity to purchase tickets!

Arts Whistler is presenting the Creative Catalyst program with a grant from the Province of BC’s Rural Dividend Fund, which supports economic and employment development opportunities in rural areas.

(Photo: Emily Serrell Photography)


About Arts Whistler:
Arts Whistler is passionate about Whistler, about arts and about making arts and culture an integral part of day-to-day life. Operating out of the Maury Young Arts Centre in the heart of Whistler Village, Arts Whistler runs a variety of creative classes, showcases an exciting lineup of live shows for Arts Whistler Live! and hosts year-round free-admission exhibits in The Gallery to support local artists and their craft. Annual events include the Whistler Children’s Festival, Whistler Street Entertainment, Arts Whistler Holiday Market, We Heart Local Art and Art on the Lake. Arts Whistler creates bold, inspiring and engaging experiences and supports an arts and culture sector in Whistler that’s welcoming, accessible and collaborative.

Get in Touch:
Twitter: @artswhistler
Instagram: @artswhistler
Hashtags: #ArtsWhistler 

Media Contact:
Mo Douglas,
Executive Director, Arts Whistler

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